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Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90 V8 (US)
Manufacturer Volvo Cars
Parent company Ford Motor Company (2002–2010)
Geely Holding Group (2010–present)
Production 2002–present
Class Mid-size luxury crossover SUV
Body style(s) 4-door SUV
Layout Front engine, four-wheel drive

The Volvo XC90 is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV produced by Volvo Cars since it was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show 2002. It is based on the P2 platform, shared with the first generation Volvo S80 and other large Volvo cars. As Volvo's top-selling vehicle in the United States, the XC90 was also Volvo's best selling model worldwide in 2005 with 85,994 cars sold.

First generation

Volvo XC90
Volvo XC90 front.JPG
Production 2002–present
Assembly Torslanda, Sweden
Samutprakarn, Thailand[1]
Shah Alam, Malaysia[2]
Jakarta, Indonesia (Indobuana Autoraya)
Platform Volvo P2 platform
Engine(s) 2.5 L 210 hp turbocharged I5
2.9 L (straight-6, 272 hp), 3.2 L 238 hp I6
4.4 L 315 hp V8
2.4 L 185 hp (163 hp) Diesel I5
Transmission(s) 5-speed Volvo M56 manual
4-speed GM 4T60-E automatic
5-speed Aisin AF33 automatic
6-speed Aisin AWTF-80 SC automatic
Wheelbase 2003–04 & 2007–present: 2,857 mm (112.5 in)
2005–06: 2,859 mm (112.6 in)
Length 2003–06: 4,821 mm (189.8 in)
2007–present: 4807 mm (189.3 in)
Width 1909 mm (74.7 in)
Height 1784 mm (70.2 in)

At its launch for the 2003 model year, it was presented with a choice of two trim levels, the 2.5T and the T6. The 2.5T was the entry level version and offered a 2.5L 20 valve turbocharged inline 5 engine putting out 210 hp (160 kW/210 PS) and 236 ft·lbf (320 N·m) mated to an Aisin co-developed AW55-50/51 5 speed automatic. The T6 offered a 2.9L 24 valve twin turbocharged inline 6 with 272 hp (203 kW/276 PS) and 280 ft·lbf (380 N·m) mated to a GM-sourced, Volvo modified 4T65EV/GT 4 speed automatic. While the 2.5T came standard with front wheel drive, a Haldex Traction all wheel drive system was optional. The T6 was offered only with the AWD system.

Facelift Volvo XC90 3.2 (Australia)

Facelift Volvo XC90 D5 (Australia)


A new Yamaha V8 engine was added in 2005. This 4.4 L Volvo B8444S V8 engine produced 292 hp (218 kW/296 PS) for the first few models later upgraded to 311 hp (232 kW/315 PS) and 325 ft·lbf (441 N·m) of torque. The XC90 V8 will be priced at just over US$45,000 and it is expected that more than 15,000 would be sold per year.

The XC90 won the North American Car of the Year award and Motor Trend magazine's Sport/Utility of the Year for 2003.

The XC90 was updated for 2007 with a restyled front and rear and a revised interior. The 235 hp (175 kW/238 PS) 3.2 L SI6 straight-6 engine replaced the 208 hp (155 kW/211 PS) B524T2 straight-5 in the base model for the US market. The 2007 XC90 debuted in April 2006 at the New York Auto Show.

The XC90 is produced at Volvo's Torslanda Plant (Torslandaverken) in Sweden.

The Passion Red avatar of the XC90 was heavily showcased in the 2009 Bollywood blockbuster, 3 Idiots, which has since become Bollywood's biggest box office success to date. Curiosity and demand for the car went up hugely in India and elsewhere, after its prominent feature in the film.


As with all Volvo models, the car's safety is a key part of its design. The Volvo XC90's front end is specifically designed to absorb frontal impacts and also deflect any pedestrians up on to the hood of the vehicle rather than underneath the vehicle. Volvo has patented the unique frontal structure that has renowned crumple zones, and a pre-determined positions for the engine and other ancillaries during a frontal impact.[citation needed]

The XC90's roof is reinforced with ultra high strength steel to help prevent a collapse in the passenger cavity in the event of a roll over. This Volvo system is called ROPS, and is closely associated with the Roll Stability Control (RSC), DSTC, and SIPS systems of Volvo to prevent and ultimately minimize effects of a pending accident.

The XC90 has been designed on the rear end to absorb impact energy, but the occupants are also protected by a whiplash protection system. This Volvo WHIPS system cradles the entire body of the occupants when they are jolted during a rear end collision.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the Volvo XC90 their Top Safety Pick award. The XC90 was granted the IIHS's highest rating of "good" in front, side, rear and roof strength tests and has Electronic Stability Control as standard equipment to receive the award.[3]

The industry-first Roll Stability Control was first introduced in XC90 in 2003.[4][5]


Many owners of the T6 variant reported very early transmission failures, many before 60,000 miles (97,000 km).[6][7][8] Some owners reportedly went through two transmissions in that time.[9] The GM-sourced 4T65EV/GT transmissions usually show symptoms of failure by suddenly slipping while in gear. There was not a recall for this issue, but the faults are widely known and documented. Various causes have been said, ranging from engine coolant entering the transmission fluid to problems arising from Volvo's modification of the original GM valve body[10] unit inside the transmission, but none have been substantiated. Non-GM sourced transmissions have not suffered unusual failings of this type.

2007 battery recall

At the end of July 2007, Volvo Car Corp. announced the recall of 42,211 2005 model year XC90s in order to check their batteries to avoid the risk of an internal short circuit and fire. The vehicles were manufactured in the Swedish Torslandaverken between June 7, 2004 and May 13, 2005.[11] The recall only applies to cars in the U.S. and Canada.[12] There have been no reports of short circuiting in the vehicles.[citation needed]

Second generation

The updated XC90 that was scheduled for 2010 introduction, has been canceled. Instead, the current model will undergo a facelift that will keep it on the market until 2012.[13] Volvo has stated that the second generation XC90 is not canceled altogether,[14] as rumored, but its introduction could be delayed. The next generation was sent back to the engineering board to improve the vehicles weight, handling, and most important of all, its fuel efficiency. Volvo engineers will improve on engine fuel efficiency through the use of hybrid technology and other innovations such as start-stop technology. The 2012 XC90 will borrow heavily from the design of the current XC60. The vehicle will feature a larger third row seat. Also, it can be expected that the vehicle will have an optional panoramic sunroof.


  1. "Volvo. Volvo In Thailand". Retrieved on 2010-07-16.
  2. "Volvo. Volvo In Malaysia". Retrieved on 2010-07-16.
  3. "XC90 IIHS evaluation". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  4. Hide Comments (2002-12-01). "Mike Monticello, "2003 Volvo XC90 AWD T6 - Road Test," Road and Truck". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  5. "2003 Volvo XC90 – North American Truck of the Year,". (2003-01-05). Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  6. "Volvo XC90 T6 Transmission - CarSpace Automotive Forums". Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
  7. "2003 Volvo XC90 T6 Comments (r69842), Page 4". Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
  8. [1][dead link]
  9. "2003 Volvo XC90 T6 Comments (r69842), Page 5". Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
  10. "Common Faults and Diagnosis Volvo And Saab". Retrieved on 2009-07-21.
  11. "Volvo recalls SUVs due to fire risk", Bloomberg News / The Arizona Republic (2007-07-25). Retrieved on 2007-07-27. 
  12. "Volvo to recall 42,000 cars in North America because of short circuit risk". International Herald Tribune (2009-03-29). Archived from the original on 2009-07-27. Retrieved on 2010-10-09.
  13. Taylor III, Alex (2007-12-18). "RIP for the SUV", CNN. Retrieved on 2010-05-27. 
  14. Alessandro Gaudenzi - "New Volvo XC90 will arrive in 2012 - Newemotion 05.29.2009". Retrieved on 2010-10-09.

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